Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Nick Clegg: On Brexit, I agree with Tony Blair

Nick Clegg told Peston on Sunday that he was in full agreement with Tony Blair on the EU. Photo: ITV/Peston on Sunday

Nick Clegg told Peston on Sunday that he was in full agreement with Tony Blair on the EU .

"I agree with every single word," the former Deputy Prime Minister told Peston on Sunday in response to a question about Mr Blair's comments this week on the "catastrophic" realities of the EU referendum.

Like Mr Blair, Mr Clegg said he thought there should be a second EU referendum if a 'hard' Brexit - widely interrupted as the UK leaving the European single market - was proposed.

He said: "It is a woeful re-writing of history to claim that the country expressed one single opinion or, even worse still, which is now the additional re-writing of history, that they knew exactly what Brexit meant.

"Given the Brexiteers, the motley crue of Farage, Gove and Johnson, didn't bother to tell people what it meant, it's quite right now that people like Tony Blair say 'hang on a minute, yes of course we're now heading towards the the exit door, but since we don't know what the destination is, the country should have another opportunity - in one shape or form - to make a judgement on the final package.'"

He said to translate the Brexit vote into saying people want the UK to quit the single market "is a woeful misreading of people's intentions and rewriting of history".

He told Robert Peston: "George Osborne put it rather well - here's an odd consolation - Tony Blair, George Osborne and Nick Clegg all agree that the country voted for Brexit, not for hard Brexit.

"People don't vote for economic self-harm. Yes, they vote on issues like immigration, identity, they don't like fussy bureaucrats in Brussels. I get all of that."

He added it would be unrealistic of the Government to believe the UK could remain a full leading member of some of the security-related bodies, such as Europol, without paying into the EU budget.

"At some point people are going to have to come clean with the fact that there aren't simple either/or choices," he said.